Meet the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half teammates!

Comfort Zone Camp is thrilled to be selected as an Official Charity Partner for the 2023 United Airlines NYC Half.  We have 11 teammates on the Grief Relief Team running and fundraising to send more grieving kids to Comfort Zone Camp.

RACE: 2023 United Airlines NYC Half
DATE: Sunday, March 19, 2023
LOCATION:  New York, NY

Meet the teammates and read their powerful stories:

Mark Campinell, from Connecticut: I lost both of my parents in April of 2020. While they had both had various ailments, we never expected things to turn so quickly and within a couple weeks of each other. My mom passed away from brain cancer and my dad from complications due to Covid. Because this happened during the height of Covid, we were unable to have a proper funeral service and gather with family. It’s been one of the hardest things that I’ve had to cope with and I struggle with their loss constantly. Read more of Mark’s story….

Stephanie Chang, from California: In March, I will be running the NYC Half Marathon with Comfort Zone Camp (CZC). CZC is a nonprofit and community dedicated to transforming the lives of children who have experienced the death of a loved one. The organization provides free bereavement camps, trust-building activities, and support groups to combat emotional isolation from grief and teach healthy coping. Read more about Stephanie’s story…

Lexi Finn, from New Jersey: My dad passed away when I was 7, and just a few months later I was introduced to CZC. I attended camp from ages 7-17, volunteered as a JC when I was 15 and 16, and as soon as I turned 18 I started volunteering as an official big buddy. I’ve been to at least 20 camps! I’m running the NYC Half Marathon for CZC to give back to grieving children because I was one of those children. I want to give kids a safe, and fun, place to grieve because that’s what was given to me. CZC gave me a whole new family, and everyone should be able to experience what I did! I’ll be running through the streets of NYC for camp, for grieving children everywhere and will cross that finish line in honor of my dad! Read more about Lexi’s story…

Jason Lee, from Texas: My cousin, David, attended two camps after his mother had passed from breast cancer in 2008. Volunteering at these camps, I have witnessed firsthand the life-changing impact this organization has. No one should have to navigate loss alone, especially children. The burden of bereavement disrupts family dynamics, strains social relationships, and emotionally isolates. Read more about Jason’s story…

Jill Maze, from Virginia: The path that led us to CZC began in 2006 when tragedy struck suddenly and I lost my husband Rodney to brain cancer… But in 2020, our family was hit with a heartbreaking turn of events when Jay was diagnosed with the same lethal type of brain cancer. I am running in honor of Jay.  And I am running in honor of Rodney. Read more about Jill’s story…

Niki Russo, from New Jersey: Seventeen years ago my father passed away and my grief journey began. Comfort Zone Camp existed very early on in my journey and it has been by my side every step of the way. I can say with confidence I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without this wonderful organization. When I was a child CZC gave me coping skills to grieve the loss of my dad, the ability to share my story, and a way to remember him forever while still being able to move forward and live a good life. As an adult who volunteers it has given me a safe space to be myself while also being able to help others. It is an honor to run for Comfort Zone Camp and raise money for a charity that has filled up parts of my heart that had been emptied by loss. I never want to know a world without CZC, and I want them to continue to have the ability to touch the lives of grieving children all over the US. Read more about Niki’s story…

Alex Shea, from California: Quite honestly I feel blessed to not have experienced a death in my family until my mid 20’s. It’s something unavoidable, yet I was luckily “old” enough, to the best of my ability, to process what I was feeling. Despite my age, I realized death truly can affect any one at any age. It’s heartwarming to know that organizations such as Comfort Zone Camp exist to transform the lives of those who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or significant person. I feel honored in supporting an organization like this, and I do feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to spread awareness about their mission. Read more about Alex’s story…

Gabby Shoun, from Utah: The incredible gifts of healing, support and connection that CZC provides is so invaluable and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to raise money for this incredible organization! Read more about Gabby’s story…

Carly Shurba, from New Jersey: I started my journey with Comfort Zone Camp 4 years ago as a Big Buddy and loved it so much that I became a staff member at the end of September. I’m passionate about helping our campers and families. Raising awareness about how Comfort Zone Camp provides “grief relief” for children who have experienced loss helps us support these families in their healing journey. Read more about Carly’s story…

Cory Van Dyke from Virginia: My world was turned upside down on Christmas Eve 2018 when my Dad suddenly passed away. My biggest supporter and #1 Fan was gone just like that. It left me feeling alone, confused, and feeling like I had no one around me who truly understood what I was going through. Over the next year, I returned to college and trudged through life in the beginning stages of my grief journey. That all changed when I was invited in January 2020 to Comfort Zone Camp’s Young Adult retreat, a retreat for 18-25 year old’s who had lost a loved one. Read more about Cory’s story…

Brian Waller, from New Jersey: I love being a big buddy at Comfort Zone Camp! Read more about Brian’s story…


Do you already have a guaranteed entry?

You are still welcome to join us! For a reduced fundraising commitment, you can join our team, meet great people, and help support grieving children. Email Krista at kcollopy@comfortzonecamp.org to learn more.